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Up to 100 new jobs could be created if aircraft once again fly from former RAF Coltishall

PUBLISHED: 14:51 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:06 09 October 2018

Swift Technology Group at Scottow Enterprise Park could be joined by their maintenance division.  Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Swift Technology Group at Scottow Enterprise Park could be joined by their maintenance division. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

The prospect of aircraft once again taking to the skies from the former RAF Coltishall base has moved a step nearer, after council bosses agreed to lease a hangar to a company which wants to test planes there.

And that could mean 90 to 100 jobs are created in Norfolk over the next two years - a major boost for the Scottow Enterprise Park.

The former air base is owned by Norfolk County Council, and is home to a number of companies which operate from the buildings.

One of those companies is Swift Technology Group, which operates from Hangar 2 at the park.

And, at a meeting of County Hall’s business and property committee today, councillors agreed to grant a lease for a nearby hangar to an affiliate company called Swift TG Maintenance.

The company has applied to both North Norfolk and Broadland councils for permission to make use of the former runway to launch flight testing of its crafts.

If approved, it would see the runway put to same use it had for more than 60 years - though with neither the same volume or frequency.

In an application to both councils, it said the movements would be limited, but would allow for testing and delivery of the aircraft manufactured on site.

While those applications have yet to be decided, the county council has agreed to lease the second hangar to the maintenance division of the company.

The county council will spend £350,000 preparing the building for occupation and Swift will then fit the building out for their intended use.

The council will not ask for rent for nine months to allow that to happen and will then lease them the hangar for seven years, starting at just under £120,000 a year and rising to just under £180,000 from the fourth year.

The council says Swift TG Maintenance is relocating from York to be closer to the other group companies to support their growth and grow itself - with an extra 90 to 100 employees anticipated over the next two years.

Conservative councillor Ian Mackie, a member of the business and property committee, said: “This is bringing investment and jobs to Norfolk and I think the Scottow team should be praised for doing this.”

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